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Syracuse Suffers First Loss at Pittsburgh

Jan 17, 2011 – 10:02 PM
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Evan Hilbert

Evan Hilbert %BloggerTitle%

Certainly, many in Pittsburgh thought a celebration would start early after the No. 5 Panthers (18-1, 6-0) stormed out to a 19-0 lead over an undefeated Syracuse team.

Then, however, the No. 3 Orange (18-1, 5-1) countered with 17 consecutive points. Quite an answer by the 'Cuse to be sure, but they still fell short in Pittsburgh, losing to the Panthers 74-66.

Syracuse was playing without leading scorer Kris Joseph, who didn't make the trip after suffering a head injury against Cincinnati. Still, freshman C.J. Fair was able to pick up some of the slack, leading the Orange with 16 points.

But Pitt proved to be too strong. Nasir Robinson (pictured) scored a career-high 21 points in the win. Brad Wanamaker added 15, and the nation's second-best rebounding team pulled down 14 more boards than Rick Jackson and Syracuse.

How it was won: Scoring. Though Syracuse was able to weather Pitt's early onslaught, they were not able to get many stops -- especially when they needed them most. The Panthers shot almost 50 percent from the floor, something most teams haven't been able to do against the Orange.

How it was lost: Foul shooting. Not only did the Orange not make it to the line much, but they didn't convert when they were there. Syracuse only made 8 of 15 from the stripe, where Pitt was a little better at 14 of 20.

Where to from here: Syracuse now gets Villanova at home, where two teams that aren't used to losing will meet after each suffered a loss. Pittsburgh has a fairly easy stretch ahead, avoiding the top tier Big East teams until they get Villanova in the middle of next month.
Filed under: Sports